Welcome

We are delighted to present our twenty-fifth programme. It’s our established popular mixture of old friends and new faces, with nearly 50 sessions featuring bands from across most of the spectrum of the music we call jazz.

Peter Vacher described Swanage as the “perfect place for a summer weekend of jazz” (Jazz Journal). We know most of our fans agree: a great many return every year and we still meet some who were here for the first small-scale affair in 1990. If you’ve never been to the Festival, we think you’ll find the combination of top class jazz, effective but relaxed organization and a beautiful seaside setting irresistible. You might stay on to explore the stunning coastal scenery and picturesque villages, as an increasing number of people do.

There are four stroller venues close to the seafront in the centre of town, and several free venues, so you can stroll from the large marquees to the smaller venues and take in everything from New Orleans revivalism and Dixieland to post-bop and contemporary sounds, by way of swing and mainstream.

The Festival is promoted by a group of fans and is non-profit making. We have some small amounts of commercial sponsorship –Enterprise Inns and some local small businesses – and we are grateful to the PRS for Music Foundation for their support. But we have survived some difficult years and grown largely because of the support of fans: ticket sales and bar sales cover over 90 per cent of our costs, of which musicians’ fees and expenses make up 70 per cent.

The stroller ticket covers everything except the steam train/jazz dance. The music runs from 7 to 11pm on Friday, 11am to 11pm on Saturday and 10am to 11pm on Sunday. There’s a brass band parade on Saturday morning, a church service on Sunday, free gigs in pubs and open-air gigs on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are on sale from the beginning of February. We urge you to book both tickets and accommodation as early as you can. For information and accommodation lists see the Booking Form. Given the demand for places in town, it helps if you book for at least three days.

All of our venues are accessible to wheelchairs. We are very definitely a child-friendly event – we admit children under sixteen free with an adult, and we offer a discount of 50% for student bookings. We are also happy to admit dogs (except in the Methodist Church) provided they are under close control.

  • Swanage Jazz Festival gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation.